Thoughts From COA 2017-05-26T02:38:45+00:00

Thoughts From COA

July 17: Community Oncology Alliance Submits Formal Comments on President’s Blueprint to Reduce Drug Prices

COA Applauds Administration for Taking Bold Action to Address High Drug Prices, Cautions Against Misguided Policy Changes that Would Negatively Impact Cancer Patients  The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) formally submitted comments to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar regarding President Trump’s “Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and [...]

July 2: COA Supports 340B Drug Discount Accountability Act

HR 6240 Will Provide HRSA With Proper Funding for Program Oversight and Fulfill Longstanding Bipartisan Proposal The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) supports the introduction of the “340B Drug Discount Accountability Act” (HR 6240) by Representative Chris Collins (R-NY). This legislation will ensure that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) [...]

May 25: Community Oncology Alliance Supports Bipartisan “Phair Pricing” PBM Reform Act – Ensuring Patients Receive All Negotiated Discounts and Rebates at Point-of-Sale is Important Step to Reforming Broken Drug Pricing System

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) strongly supports H.R. 5958, the “The Phair Pricing Act of 2018” introduced today by Representatives Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas). This bipartisan bill will ensure that the savings that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate are passed along to patients at the point-of-sale. Under [...]


“Years of independent studies and investigations have uncovered that the 340B program is out of control in many hospitals and is not functioning to help patients in need. As Congress examines the 340B program and develops legislative solutions to fix 340B, it is critical that policymakers have the facts about [...]

April 12: COA Releases 2018 Practice Impact Report: 1,653 Clinics and/or Practices Closed, Acquired, Merged, or Struggling

COA Practice Impact Report Details Consolidation, Shift of U.S. Cancer Care System Into More Expensive Hospital Setting Community Oncology Alliance (COA) Practice Impact Report Data Shows 1,653 Clinics and/or Practices Have Closed, Been Acquired by Hospitals, Merged, or Reported Financial Struggles Since 2008 Misguided Public Policies of 340B and Sequester [...]

April 12: Cancer Care Teams and Advocates Gather in Washington for Largest Community Oncology Conference Ever

“Keeping Patients at Center” Theme Reflected Across 2018 COA Conference Business, Clinical, Pharmacy, and Advocacy Tracks Keynote Speakers at 16th Annual Conference Include U.S. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD and NY Giants Linebacker Mark Herzlich The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) kicks off the 2018 Community Oncology Conference today, gathering nearly [...]

April 11: Patients: Doctors and Patients, Not Pharmacy Benefit Managers, Should Make Cancer Care Decisions

Nearly 100 advocates from 22 community oncology practices in 14 states warn Congress that pharmacy benefit managers jeopardize cancer care, demand lawmakers keep patients and doctors at the center  Washington, DC—Nearly 100 cancer care advocates are on Capitol Hill this week to urge Congress to introduce more transparency and accountability [...]

March 26: VA Audit and Takeback Issue

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is currently working to help community oncology practices manage a takeback issue affecting practices that treated veterans unable to receive timely cancer care within the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Background Unable to get timely diagnosis and treatment for [...]

February 23: COA: Analysis Shows Massachusetts Hospitals Benefit From Recent Changes in Medicare Payment

All Massachusetts Hospitals Will See Nearly $53 Million More in Payments from Recent Increases in Medicare Part B Reimbursement and 340B Program Changes Hospitals in Massachusetts, especially those in rural areas, will benefit from recent changes to Medicare payments, including changes to reimbursement of prescription drugs under a federal program [...]

February 22: Community Oncology Alliance Names Dr. Frederick M. Schnell to Newly Created Medical Director Position

Experienced Community Oncologist Will Provide Valuable Guidance on Patient Care and Practice Operations The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) announced today that Frederick M. Schnell, M.D., F.A.C.P., has been appointed to the newly created staff position of Medical Director. He brings more than three decades of experience as a physician and [...]

February 13: Community Oncology Alliance Statement on White House Budget Proposal Drug Price Recommendations

Administration’s Budget has Numerous Smart, Overdue Policy Solutions; but Certain Medicare Part B Proposals Ignore History and will Backfire Today, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) released the following statement regarding the White House’s proposed budget recommendations and a recent report from President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors on strategies to [...]

February 8: COA Hosts Second “State of the Union” Briefing for Advocates, Stakeholders, and Industry Leaders

On Wednesday, February 7th the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) hosted a “State of the Union” briefing on the state of community oncology going into 2018. More than 110 representatives of national cancer care, patient advocacy, provider, and industry organizations came together at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to receive [...]

January 29: New Study Shows Rural Hospitals Benefit Most From Recent 340B and Other Medicare Payment Changes, With Majority Seeing 2.7 Percent Average Payment Increases

Majority of All Hospitals Will See Average of 1.5 Percent Net Medicare Payment Increases in 2018, Offsetting 340B Payment Change Avalere Study, Commissioned by Community Oncology Alliance, Adds to Growing Body of Evidence Showing Need for Transparency in Hospital Programs 85 percent of hospitals will see net payment increases [...]

January 25: COA Statement on Alex Azar as HHS Secretary

Community Oncology Alliance Looks Forward to Working Closely with HHS Secretary Alex Azar to Strengthen and Improve the American Cancer Care System On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), I want to congratulate and express our strong support for Alex Michael Azar II on [...]

January 17: Community Oncology Alliance Strongly Supports 340B HELP ACT

“Helping Ensure Low-income Patients have Access to Care and Treatment” Will Ensure Patients Benefit from Important 340B Program, Not Hospital Profits COA Thanks Senator Cassidy for Leadership Reforming 340B Program to Benefit Patients Washington, DC – January 17, 2018 – The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) applauds Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on his leadership to improve transparency [...]

January 16: COA Submits Formal Comments on Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Benefit Program

Today the Board of Directors of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) submitted formal comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding proposed changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Benefit Program for 2019 (CMS-4182-P). In the letter COA discussed the importance of community cancer practices dispensing oral [...]

December 22: Happy Holidays From COA

Season's greetings and best wishes for a happy New Year from the Community Oncology Alliance (COA). The COA offices will be closed on December 25 and January 1, with limited staffing and Breaking News being published during the holiday week. On behalf of the entire COA team Ted Okon, Mary [...]

Webinar – Evolving the OCM: OCM 2.0 & Beyond

A possible universal model of oncology payment reform building on the Oncology Care Model (OCM), COA’s proposed 'OCM 2.0' addresses several issues identified by current participants, and how value-based payments might be incorporated in the future. COA hosted this webinar on January 9th to provide details on the development [...]

Webinar: Oncology Site of Care Cost Differences & Solutions

On Thursday, November 16th the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), and Oncology Business Review (OBR) hosted a free webinar to discuss recent research into the cost differences between hospitals and community oncology practices, and how public policy can be changed to address it. [...]

October 24: COA Hosts Seventh Summit on Oncology Payment Reform

Providers, Payers, Employers, Policymakers, and Industry Leaders Discuss Efforts to Reform Nation’s Cancer Care Payment System The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is hosting more than 200 providers, payers, employers, policymakers, and industry leaders this week at the seventh Payer Exchange Summit on Oncology Payment Reform to discuss how they can [...]

September 28: New Study Finds Hospital Cancer Care Much More Expensive

New Study Determines Cancer Care Delivered In Hospital Outpatient Setting Much More Expensive Than In Independent, Community Oncology Practices Chemotherapy 71% More Expensive, Physician Visits 333% More Expensive, and Patients Have Higher Rates of Emergency Department Visits When Treated in Hospital Outpatient Setting Data Consistent Across Tumor Types, Including Breast, [...]

September 21: Complimentary OCM Webcast on 9/27

Alternative Payment Models in Oncology - Implementing APMs: Focus on the Oncology Care Model Join COA executive committee member Dr. Kashyap Patel, MD for a complementary webcast on the Oncology Care Model (OCM) in partnership the American Journal of Managed Care, next Wednesday, September 27th. Webcast: September 27, 2017 at 12 pm, [...]

September 19: New White Paper Details Bureaucracy, Deadly Delays, and Apathy by Pharmacy Benefit Managers – COA White Paper Continues to Share True Patient-PBM Stories and How They Hurt Cancer Patients

Today, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and the Community Oncology Pharmacy Association (COPA) released a new white paper sharing more real patient stories detailing the negative impact pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have on cancer care. Compiling stories from cancer patients and physicians, the white paper “Bureaucracy, Deadly Delays, and Apathy: [...]

September 14: COA Representatives Join Congressional Briefing on Personalized Medicine and the Future of Cancer Care Delivery and Payment

Representatives from the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) joined other cancer stakeholders and policymakers on Capitol Hill today for a briefing on personalized medicine and the future of cancer care delivery and payment. The briefing was moderated by COA Executive Director Ted Okon, and featured COA Executive Committee Member Kashyap Patel, [...]

August 14: COA Submits Comments on 2018 QPP to CMS

On Friday the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) submitted formal comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding proposed policies for the Quality Payment Program (QPP)in calendar year 2018. In the comments, COA expressed some concerns and sought clarification on select items in the QPP Proposed Rule.  Generally, [...]

July 17: CMS Proposal a Huge Step in the Right Direction to Curbing 340B Hospital Abuses, Stopping Cancer System Consolidation, and Reducing Costs for Seniors

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) applauds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for its proposals to address abuses of the 340B Drug Discount Program and move to parity payments for medical services, regardless of the site of care. These changes will result in significant cost savings for our [...]

June 6: Congress Must Reject Changes to Medicare Part B

This week the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is launching a major inside-the-beltway campaign to let Congress know that it must reject changes to Medicare Part B. The government is proposing changes to Medicare with funding cuts which will impact the care vulnerable seniors receive from their doctors under the [...]

June 2: New COA White Paper “Unaccountable Benefit Managers” Shines Light On How Pharmacy Benefit Managers Hurt Cancer Patient Care

 Second in White Paper Series Compiling True Patient-PBM Stories; Accompanies New Website PBMAbuses.Com    A new white paper released today by the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and the Community Oncology Pharmacy Association (COPA) continues to shine a light on the negative impact pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have on the care [...]

April 27: COA White Paper Exposes Delay, Waste, and Cancer Treatment Obstacles Imposed on Patients by Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Compilation of True Patient-PBM Stories Released and Discussed at 2017 Community Oncology Conference A new white paper released today by the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and the Community Oncology Pharmacy Association (COPA) exposes the negative impact pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have on the care cancer patients receive. Compiling real stories [...]

April 27: 2017 Community Oncology Conference, “Fueling the Cancer Moonshot” Brings Together Pioneering Cancer Care Teams

2017 Community Oncology Conference, “Fueling the Cancer Moonshot” Brings Together Pioneering Cancer Care Teams Physicians, Administrators, Nurses, Pharmacists, and Patient Advocates Will Share Latest Innovation in Cancer Care Today, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) kicks off the 2017 Community Oncology Conference, the theme of which this year is “Fueling the [...]

April 26: Community Oncology Advocates Head to Capitol Hill

Community Oncology Advocates Head to Capitol Hill In Support of Local Cancer Care More than 380 local cancer treatment practices have closed since 2008, forcing patients and their families to routinely travel farther for the care they need Cancer care advocates from Community Oncology Alliance (COA) Patient Advocacy Network, or [...]

March 6: Community Oncology Alliance Endorses Congressman Collins’ Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act

Community Oncology Alliance Endorses Congressman Collins’ Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act Greater transparency and accountability from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) will lower costs for patients and taxpayers The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) endorses the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act (H.R. 1316) and thanks Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) and the bill’s [...]

March 2: Community Oncology Alliance Applauds New Oncology Payment Reform Bill by U.S. Senators Cornyn and Carper

Oncology Medical Home Model Demonstration Project Will Support Quality and Value in Cancer Care The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) commends United States Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tom Carper (D-DE) for introducing the Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2017 (S.463) which establishes a national Oncology Medical Home (OMH) demonstration [...]

February 8: COA State of Community Oncology and 2017 Priorities

COA Hosts “State of the Union” Luncheon for Advocates, Stakeholders, and Industry Leaders Today, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) hosted a “State of the Union” briefing on the state of community oncology at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. More than 100 representatives of national cancer care, patient advocacy, [...]

Webinar: Oncology Pharmacy and Oncology Accreditation, Feb. 23

Are you interested in learning about specialty and oncology pharmacy accreditation? Do you have questions about what accreditation entails and the process?  Would you like to gain insight from pharmacies that have achieved accreditation? What are the latest updates on how insurers, the government, and PBMs are recognizing and rewarding accreditation? [...]

November 22: Breaking News: Medicare Part B Experiment Dead

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) believes that, for all intents and purposes, the Medicare Part B experiment (demo) on cancer care is dead. Late last week, top Democrats, including incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, requested that the Obama administration not release the final [...]

November 16: COA Launches Part B Experiment Ads in Washington

This week in the DC metro market the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is running a series of television, print, and digital advertisements to remind Congress that patients and providers are still looking for action on the Medicare Part B experiment on cancer care. This 30-second spot on the major cable [...]

October 28: CVS Indicates Reversal of Decision to Block Oncology Clinics Dispensing Patients’ Drugs

COA has recently learned that CVS Health is indicating it will not proceed with restricting cancer patients from receiving their medications from oncology practices that dispense medications. Previously, CVS had notified patients that, beginning January 1, 2017, their oncologists’ pharmacies would be considered “out of network” and medications would only [...]

September 8: Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York Launches CPAN Chapter

Patients and Physicians at Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York launch National Cancer Advocacy Group Chapter COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) Chapter to Advocate for Local, Accessible, and Affordable Cancer Care for All in New York East Syracuse residents have a new group dedicated to advocating for local, accessible, and affordable cancer care in their [...]

July 28: COA Launches Advanced Practice Provider Network

Learning Network for Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and Other Advanced Practice Providers in Oncology COA has launched a new initiative to support advanced practice providers in oncology. Called the Advanced Practice Provider Network or “CAPP Network,” the initiative will support oncology nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other advanced practice providers who [...]

July 13: COA Comments on Potential MACRA Delay

"It is great to see that CMS is listening to the community. This is an excellent suggestion from Acting Administrator Slavitt and one which COA asked for it in its comment letter. MACRA is simply too big of a deal to rush through and it appears they are recognizing that. [...]

July 8: COA and Alliance for Site-Neutral Payment Reform Commend CMS for Responsible Interpretation of Site-Neutral Policies

The Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform, which includes COA as a coalition member, commends the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for supporting and strengthening site neutral payment policies within its 2017 OPPS/ASC Proposed Payment Rule. The proposed rule appropriately disallows the provision of additional services in existing facilities, or the [...]

June 18: COA National Part B Experiment Ad Campaign

COA has kicked off a major national advertising campaign thanking individual members of Congress for their support in fighting the proposed Medicare Part B experiment and asking others for their support. The bipartisan campaign includes radio spots, newspaper advertisements, direct mail pieces, and digital ads tailored to individual members and markets. It [...]

June 17: COA Statement on MedPAC June, 2016 Report to Congress

“MedPAC has issued another tone-deaf report on Medicare cancer drug reimbursement to Congress. It completely ignores the obvious and dramatic shift of oncology care into the more expensive hospital setting. The conclusions MedPAC reaches are based on thin, unrepresentative data and ignore all the very-real costs required to deliver quality [...]

May 24: Ask your Representative: Sign the letter to CMS!

Three top members of Congress are circulating a letter to their colleagues to join them in signing asking CMS to withdraw the Medicare experiment on cancer care and other medical conditions. Immediate action is needed to get this letter signed! Tom Price (GA-R), Charles Boustany (LA-R), and John Shimkus (IL-R) [...]

May 24: Highlights from the 2016 Community Oncology Conference

The most successful Community Oncology Conference ever, wrapped up on Friday featuring a record-breaking 926 attendees, a more than fifty-percent increase from last year. In addition to presentations during the clinical, business, and advocacy sessions, attendees saw the launch of the “I Am Community Oncology” campaign and heard from our [...]

May 24: COA Letter on Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model

An Experiment on Patients; CMS Proposal Sets a Dangerous Precedent Today, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) sent a letter to HHS Secretary Burwell and CMS Acting Director Slavitt regarding the recently released CMS Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model. “The CMS Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model is an inappropriate, potentially dangerous, and [...]

May 24: COA Joins Congressional Briefing on 340B Program

COA executive director Ted Okon recently participated in a panel briefing for Congressional staff on the 340B drug discount program. The standing-room-only audience included representatives from over 50 bipartisan Hill offices who heard firsthand about the negative impact of the program on community oncology practices. The day before the briefing, [...]

May 24: Testifying in Albany on Medicaid cuts

COA joined New York community oncology practices in Albany on Monday to testify before the State Senate and Assembly. We were there to raise the alarm about the adverse impact that new Medicaid payment cuts will have on dually eligible Medicare patients.   Read Full Article Here>>